Did you know that the words you use can actually change the way you think and act? Advocates of Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP) believe that the way we think (neuro) and communicate (linguistic) can shift our patterns of behaviour and emotion (also known as programmes). NLP is a brilliant tool that can help you use your thoughts and words to trigger and amplify positive emotions, while reducing the impact of painful memories.
Divorce is an emotional ordeal. The negative energy can be overwhelming at times. NLP can help you take back your power. In fact, the many women who have leveraged it describe it as a superpower.
What is Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP)
NLP enables us to study what we know and how we act accordingly. The founders of NLP, Dr. John Grinder and Richard Bandler, define it as “the study of subjective experience (Collingwood & Collingwood; 2001).” NLP gives us the opportunity to detect and then act upon patterns in the world and in our individual lives. The result can be life-altering.
A friend of mine, during his interview on the Broken Families Podcast, explained NLP in simple terms. Guide Furlani, Early Family History Coach and NLP Practioner, pointed out how each of us has a reality, as well as a perception of this reality. We also have something known as the “beyond consciousness,” or the higher consciousness. NLP uses this higher consciousness to differentiate between reality and fantasy. Using mental models, we are able to create an alternate perception of reality in order to help our brains overcome trauma and other negative experiences. Learn more about our discussion on NLP here:
Furlani redirects our attention back to NLP master Tony Robbins, who has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries around the world through his audio programs, educational videos, and live seminars.
“Robbins continues to be an incredible role model for humanity today,” Furlani says.
I am grateful to Guide Furlani, who has become my first real teacher of solution-focused coaching. His insights have inspired me to learn the secrets of NLP, and to pass them on to others caught in the pain of divorce.
Since so many women are emotionally decimated after a divorce, I began to notice how many needed to experience powerful emotions again—such as the feeling of being unstoppable. It quickly became clear to me that three tenants of NLP were of particular value:
Divorce is a mega storm of paperwork that is frequently urgent and often overwhelming. I learned, through NLP, that anything can be accomplished when the task is broken down into small enough pieces. Dividing divorce tasks into bite-size pieces can reduce anxiety and make the task at hand feel more manageable.
- There is no such thing as failure, only feedback.
NLP encourages resiliency at its core by asking us not to take things personally and to avoid making connections between outcomes and our personal identity. Take a moment to imagine how empowered you could be if you saw feedback instead of failure! Imagine what obstacles you could overcome if you learned the lessons this feedback, no matter how painful, can offer.
- Choice is better than no choice.
Women going divorce often feel powerless. The NLP framework suggests that the element in a system that has the most flexibility also has the most control. In a divorce, those who can adapt to change fare the best. Adaptability can, in fact, become a fundamental mindset. If you are able to focus on the areas in which you do have choice and to celebrate the choices that you make, you will begin to thrive.
- NLP can help you change your perception of reality—and then watch your reality change.
- NLP can unhook loaded, emotional divorce triggers and reset them to neutral
- NLP can allow you (and hopefully your coach) to look at the entire system that may be at play. This is known as “systemic coaching” (and NLP is very systemic in its methodology).
As my friend Guide Furlani points out, it's important to be at peace with paradoxes. NLP curates a possibility whereby a woman can hold multiple painful paradoxes for divorce at the same time. As you may know, divorce is a playground of paradoxes. Completely different perspectives want a voice at the table—all at the same time. It’s demanding and confusing, and it can overload your nervous system, keeping you in a state of overwhelm.
As I always say, divorce is a marathon, not a sprint. It’s critical to have the right mindset in order to go the distance and achieve your divorce goals. Consider NLP as you rebuilt your life. It may be just the superpower you need.
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